TopGuest Went to Cali and All It Got Was This Strategic Exit


Considering a move to the West Coast, but not sure if you should do it due to all the Alley-boosting blog posts in Betabeat and your Tumblr feed? Here’s an Alley-to-Valley success story for you. TopGuest, a New York startup that launched in the beginning of 2010 to add social and mobile features to consumer loyalty programs, just had its big exit: an acquisition by San Francisco-based global customer service software company ezRez for an undisclosed sum.

CEO Geoff Lewis moved out to California with his two co-founders about a year ago to work on TopGuest, which raised $2 million and sported Peter Thiel as an advisor and Silicon Valley all-stars Keith Rabois and Ron Conway as angel investors, according to AllThingsD.

Mr. Lewis’s friends in the New York startup scene aired their good wishes in the comments at TechCrunch. “WOO! Congrats to Geoffrey Lewis and the team! I remember when Geoff arrive [sic] at a meetup in a suit with the pitch deck for TopGuest and announced ‘I am completely changing my business.’ Amazing to see it go from idea to exit,” wrote Carter Cleveland of; Brooke Mooreland of Fashism and Josh Weinstein of, as well as Dave Ambrose also offered congratulations.

TopGuest, for its part, kept mum. Cofounder Ozan Onay tweeted a sly “also, we’ve been acquired,” which Mr. Lewis retweeted.

We’re guessing this means they’re not coming back to New York for a while (four years, maybe). Not even for the babes. “Yup, one of the big benefits for us of leaving NYC, it turns out, is that there are more strategic acquirers for technology companies on the West Coast vs. East,” Mr. Lewis wrote in an email.

CORRECTION: This post originally said Mr. Lewis used to work out of General Assembly; that is not the case. “We weren’t based in General Assembly, but we do love them,” he noted. Betabeat regrets the error. TopGuest Went to Cali and All It Got Was This Strategic Exit